Paolo Garbsi will shift from the centres to flyhalf as Italy named a strong starting lineup for their Pool A clash against New Zealand in Lyon on Friday.
Italy head coach Kieran Crowley made a handful of positional and personnel changes from the starting lineup that came from a half-time deficit to beat Uruguay.
Tommaso Allan returns to fullback after starting at flyhalf last week, while Paolo Garbisi moves from the midfield to flyhalf. Allan has not missed a shot at goal during the tournament, kicking all 13 attempts, and requires five more points to surpass Diego Dominguez as Italy’s all-time leading World Cup point-scorer.
Garbisi is Italy’s leader at the 2023 World Cup for carries (31) and has made the joint-most defenders beaten (7) and try assists (2).
Luca Morisi comes into the midfield in a partnership with outside centre Juan Ignacio Brex.
Stephen Varney replaces Alessandro Garbisi at scrumhalf to partner Paolo Garbisi in the halves for the sixth time this year.
The only change to the forward pack sees Dino Lamb replace Niccolo Cannone in the second-row. Lamb has scored a try in two of his three career starts.
Italy – 15 Tommaso Allan, 14 Ange Capuozzo, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Lorenzo Cannone, 7 Michele Lamaro (c), 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Dino Lamb, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Giacomo Nicotera, 1 Danilo Fischetti.
Subs: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Ivan Nemer, 18 Simone Ferrari, 19 Niccolo Cannone, 20 Manuel Zuliani, 21 Toa Halafihi, 22 Martin Page-Relo, 23 Paolo Odogwu.
Photo: CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP